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Trade and Barter

Barter is probably one of the oldest forms of commerce. It is simply the exchange of goods or services for other goods, instead of using cash as the medium. The trade can be directly between the two parties or the trade can go through a barter exchange.

The barter exchange usually works on a point system, one point for every dollar. The exchange has members who have agreed to barter their services and products. Let’s say you need a new lap top, but the computer store doesn’t need your product/service. You earn points by bartering with those individuals and businesses who do need your product/service. You accumulate points through the exchange. When you have enough for the lap top, you ‘buy’ the lap top with your accumulated points. The exchange sometimes takes a small percentage of the points as a fee for their services.

Don't be limited in your thinking as to what can be bartered. Approach bartering as you would any other sale or purchase. Deal with reputable companies. Don't feel you have to discount your product. The barter purchase is reflected on your income statement as an expense. The barter sale (what you trade) is reflected as revenue.

Barter organizations can be found on the web, just put in trade and barter organization. Many cities have locally operated barter organizations. Contact your local chamber of commerce. The yellow pages give listings as well.

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